It's funny how vacations take on a whole new meaning when kids become a part of them. They are still fun, filled with laughter and new experiences. But A LOT LESS SLEEP.
After our first night there, Kyle and I looked at each other and said, "did we give birth to two newborns over night?" It was like a competition, and I think it was a close tie. And then there were the kind of sweet moments when Cole would come stumbling over to our bed, and learned that if he was really quiet and didn't move too much, he got to stay. And I got to wake to this preciousness,
Why are pics of your babes sleeping so incredibly sweet? They look so angelic and perfect in every way.
Bennett was super angelic and chose to rise with the Arizona sun pretty much every day. (It's like he's pointing at me and saying "sucker! You thought you would get to sleep!")
So he got to munch on cheerios, sip some milk, and entertain Bramma and mama. Oh, and he also woke up with some pretty rockin' hairstyles....I swear no curling iron was involved in the above pic. Speaking of pics, I'm giving you a fair warning, so you have time to bow out.... this post will be loaded with them. You won't get the 500 that I had to narrow them down from, but you will get a lot. I happen to be a bit obsessed with my children, if only they weren't so cute......
Ok, ok.....so I'm a bit obsessed with the big guy too...especially with that face (he is so not gonna like this....) And that was Cole's attempt at a silly face with daddy. This was a bit better.
We ate pretty much all of our meals outside on the patio, it was beautiful, and warm. Afterwards, both boy's would scurry around, play with rocks, dig.....or practice their golf swing.
Bennett had two fistfuls of rocks at pretty much any given time. And then he worked really hard organizing them and stuffing them in his shoes.
Usually, this is where we would find him, he would wander away and sit there playing to his heart's content. (Note to self, get more rocks)
And then Cole happened to see some golfers on one of our morning walks, and all the way home we heard "I GOFE, I GOFE". His Brampa was so kind and pulled out one his clubs and taught Cole how to swing.
Such form, such form. Below looks like he got some air (is that proper golfing term???)
Golfing and playing with the "hackets" (tennis rackets) were some of his favorite things to do, however, swimming beat them both. We went pretty much every day, some times twice. And one day not at all because it rained (never fails, we bring it with us).
He LOVED the water and jumping in to dadda was what he did over and over and over again.
And Bennett was cool in the beginning to just hang out on the side (all decked out in his swim gear of course)
Then once he saw Cole jumping in, he sat and watched for about a minute.... he jumped up, and started trucking it as fast as he could over to the side of the pool. And there I was trailing behind him, making a panicked dash, because knowing Bennett he would have thrown himself over the edge without a second thought.....thankfully I caught him in time, and we taught him to wait until daddy was ready. And then they both learned a lesson in waiting turns....or something that resembled that as closely as one could expect of two toddlers, learning patience.
And Cole learned to do the "Famingo" (flamingo")
And Bennett, did Bennett things...and enjoyed the water for the most part, until snacks called his name. Snacks always call his name.
The next big highlight of the week was the train park. That's right, a whole park centered around trains. My little boy's were in heaven! It was such a big hit that we went back for a second day.
They got to ride a little train that went around then entire park.
Bennett missed out on riding the train our first trip because he decided to take his nap....about the only time we got him to nap without a fight....but he did love the train ride, and learned to "choo-choo" pretty well!
Cole thought riding the merry-go-round would be fun....until he got on a horse....and then I explained that it would move.....then he was off in a quick second. We at least snapped his picture, documenting the first non-ride.
He is such a little stud. And looking oh-so-grown-up these days.
There was a ginormous play structure, some parts shaped like trains. Both boys had a blast...I only had a few minor panic attacks thinking Bennett was going to cannon ball off the top of several of the structures. And then there was Cole....
No words. I suppose that is one way to go down a slide.
And then there was a lot of this.
We became rock removal experts. And why we thought those sandals would be good shoes for a hike.....never again. Every two steps someone was sure there were rocks that needed to be removed, even when there were none to be found but a few flakes (not even grains) of sand. Two words, TENNIS SHOES.
Bennett on the other hand, carried on without a care in the world, and often I would pull off sand loaded shoes. Polar opposites? They did, however, both love love LOVE the indoor train display. It was a giant room filled with mountains, hills, towns, pastures, and trains....lots of trains. The boys could walk around and push buttons to make different trains move and choo-choo on by. We had to practically pry Bennett's fingers from the glass to get him to leave.
And then there was the little caboose for kiddos to climb around in. Bennett quickly plopped himself on the seat and set up shop.
For the first time, he actually didn't mind if people he didn't know were within inches of him, he had found his happy place. It was a pretty cute little caboose, but the boys inside were the cutest part of all.
There were a lot of piercing blue eyes in that cart. Goodness, they kill me.
And then of course, no Arizona trip would be complete without making this fun stop for lunch.
They had their first taste of fast food. And loved it, naturally....who wouldn't love In-In-Out. Those hats were Kyle's doing, and what a hit they were. Cole accidentally ripped his later and I heard him muttering that dadda would fix it with batteries or tape....apparently those are common fixers around here. ;)
The rest of the trip was filled with a lot of this....
We've discovered a love of stickers and band-aids (or "bandons") and I now find them stuck on everything. But during breaks from sticking stickers there was a lot of this.
Snuggling and enjoying the company of Bramma and Brampa.
Soaking up uninterrupted time together with daddy.
Hoarding cookies and carrying them around for a good 30 minutes before deciding to eat them,
And telling me all about it, of course.
And sorting, don't forget the sorting....very important.
A lot of laying around and being lazy.
Running around back, dodging cactus plants, and mama sure that one little boy was going to run smack dab into one....
Artist's were hard at work all week, and this masterpiece was of Bramma. Lovely.
We had chlorinated, sun-dried hair that desperately needed a good washing....but were having too much fun to do anything about it.
And then we did something about that hair, and let them swim around in our deep, soaker tub....they thought it was another pool--Score!
I got to hang with two of the coolest kids in town. They are pretty special.
We ended the week at the playground, in hopes of wearing out those little pipsqueaks so that they would take nice, looooong naps prior to hopping on the plane.....
Yeah, so naps were our hopes.....did I mention yet that there wasn't much of this happening?
And those hopes of good naps were shattered by one red-faced screaming littlest boy, and an up-out-of-bed-every-three-seconds older boy. Cole finally zonked 40 minutes before we needed to leave, and Bennett had to be taken on a nice long walk to 1) calm him down and 2) force him to fall asleep.
Children. They humble you. They remind you that you definitely are not in control of every situation. And they remind you why you put yourself through a sleepless "vacation". Because we love to see their delight, we love to watch them learn new things, see new things, and experience new things. And really when it comes right down to it, sometimes you forget how tired you really are when you watch the energy pulsating through those little limbs.
It was fun. We did a lot, we did some of nothing. And after a screaming fit because one boy accidentally bonked the other boy while we were all smooshed together, waiting to board the plane (and we got those death stares, you know the one's that read: please take you and your screaming children to the farthest seat away from me) they actually wiped their snot and tears, pulled it together and were pretty pleasant on the plane. We may have had to stick a Veggie Tale (or two...or three) in the laptop to distract our napless kiddos. But we made it. And those judgy eyes that warned us against sitting near them had nothing to stare about. Truly they didn't.
Ah, vacations...never will they be what they were before.....but they are waaaaay better in the memory making.
Arizona, we miss your sunshine. And can't wait to come visit again.